Global Human Rights Clinic

Protecting human rights, advancing global justice

In partnership with human rights and civil rights organizations around the world, students conduct investigations, develop strategies, and advocate for human rights before international, national, and local decision makers and stakeholders.

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The Global Human Rights Clinic works for the promotion of global justice. The Clinic uses international human rights laws and norms as well as other substantive law and strategies to draw attention to human rights violations, develop practical solutions, and promote accountability on the part of state and non-state actors. In collaboration with partners, IHR Clinic designs and implements projects that advance human rights through adjudication in domestic and international fora and other forms of advocacy including fact-finding and documentation, research, legislation and policy development, and public awareness raising.

Student Experience

Students work in teams on specific projects and develop their international research, legal writing, oral advocacy, communication, interviewing, collaboration, media advocacy, and strategic thinking skills. Additionally, students critically examine the substance and application of human rights law, as well as discuss and confront the ethical challenges of working on human rights problems globally, and develop new techniques to address human rights violations.

About the student experience
Human Rights Work

From land disputes in Myanmar to girls' education in Zimbabwe, the Clinic works closely with inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as individual clients on projects that advance human rights. Projects include litigation in domestic, foreign, and international tribunals as well as non-litigation projects that develop human rights law and strategies, document violations and raise public awareness.

Work History

Incarcerated workers generate billions of dollars worth of goods and services annually but are paid pennies per hour without proper training or opportunity to build skills for careers after release, according to a comprehensive nationwide report released today by the Law School’s Global Human Rights Clinic and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Publications

Reports, briefs, presentations, and more.

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In addition to the Clinic, the Law School offers a number of other opportunities for students interested in international human rights:

  • JD International Human Rights Summer Internship Program. Students participating in the IHR Program work abroad during the summer at international NGOs on human rights and other public interest law related issues and are eligible for guaranteed public interest funding.
  • International Immersion Program. Students in the immersion program have an opportunity to travel on a short term study trip to a foreign country during their breaks and learn about international and comparative law through seminars with legal scholars, meetings with professionals at law firms, businesses, international organizations, government institutions, and exchanges with alumni and local law students.
  • Human Rights Law Society. HRLS is a student organization dedicated to learning about and practicing international human rights law.

The International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) at the University of Chicago Law School is changing its name to the Global Human Rights Clinic (GHRC). The new name better captures the breadth of the clinic’s work advocating for human rights using comparative and transnational law as well as international law. As the clinic’s work has long recognized, these systems of law are interdependent and must work together to fully realize human rights for all, regardless of nationality.